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Writing a Resume in Microsoft Word

Writing a resume in Microsoft Word offers a step-by-step guide for creating a new resume or revising an old one. If you already have the program installed on your computer, it’s a free way to get a resume. A resume is your introduction and first impression to a prospective employer.

Using Templates

The Microsoft Word program includes useful templates for users. The templates serve as guides with structure and formatting already in place. Choose a basic resume, curriculum vitae or job-specific resume. Insert your information by typing it in the template. You’ll be able to make edits to the document and change the formatting details to make it your own. Examples are provided to give you an idea of what a polished resume should look like.

The Style of Resume

As you make changes in the design and edits in the template, keep in mind the image you want to project. The resume is a first-hand look at your personal brand. If you’re looking for a creative job, you might want a creative-looking resume. For a high-level professional position, you may want to keep it more formal. Fonts and colors can vary based on your preferences, but most employers agree that simple and basic are best.

Information to Include

There are important details that should be included in any resume. This includes your contact information including your name, address, email address, social media contact info and phone number. Your employment history is key, but it’s usually recommended to only go back 10-15 years. Give enough info to describe your former jobs, but not so much detail that the reader gets bogged down. Include awards and achievements that make you stand out.

Review the Resume

Once you’ve written your resume, review the details to make sure you didn’t leave anything out. Proofread and check the spelling of the entire document. Ask someone you trust to look over the resume. Your resume is the ticket for an interview, so it needs to be correct.

Final Touches

After your proofreading is complete, name the resume document and save it to the computer. When you apply online through a website application or email, you can attach the resume document. Print a few copies on good quality paper stock to take with you to an in-person interview. Having a hard copy in addition to the digital copy can be advantageous and shows that you’re prepared.


how to write resume education section

How to List Education on a Resume [13+ Real-Life Examples]

Background Image

At first glance, there’s nothing profound or too complicated about listing education on your resume.

You insert all the schools you have ever attended in chronological order, and bam, you’re done.

Easy, right?

Well, let me ask a (hint: tricky!) question:

Do you list education before work experience if you are still in school but also have worked a bit?

Should you still list your GPA next to your education entry when all you did in college was skip classes, drink, and swipe right on Tinder?

Yeah, we know you’ve got your stuff together now and want to get everything right.

So read on and we’ll answer both those questions and more! 

Where to Position Education On Your Resume

education on a resume

So, should your education or experience come first in your resume?

Think of it this way:

The top third of the resume is reserved for your accomplishments that are most relevant to the job you are applying for .

So before you continue, ask yourself: Is your education your most relevant accomplishment?

The answer most of the time will be no . Work experience will be a more important requirement for just about any position above entry-level.

However, education can take priority in some particular cases.

Education comes first if you’ve just graduated from college and don’t have relevant work experience to list. Imagine you are an employer and the first thing you see in someone’s resume when they’re applying for an entry-level marketing associate position is their summer job as a bodyguard at their local town pool. 

It’s also wise to list education before work experience if you’ve recently gotten back to school to get a degree that’s relevant to your potential job.

For example, if you’re switching to a career in sustainable energy after having finished a related program, but have work experience predominantly in engineering, you would want your new education to be the first thing the hiring manager sees.

Getting a fresh MSc, Ph.D., or MBA is another case where you would want to highlight those degrees more than the work experience. 

An example would be if you’ve been a line manager for several years but went back to school to get an MBA and are reaching for that executive position. The deciding committee would want to see your MBA first and then your experience as a line manager.

Be careful if you are applying for a job in Academia and are writing a CV instead of a resume though. In that case, your education always comes before the work experience. 

Not sure if you need a CV or a resume? Check out our guide on CV vs Resume and learn what’s the difference between the two (and when to use which). 

cv versus resume

How to Put Down Your Education in Your Resume [+ Template]

Now that you have an idea of where to put your education section, let’s start with the basics.

In terms of structuring your education section, the general practice is to follow a reverse chronological order : list your latest educational entry first, and then go backwards from there. 

Okay, but how far back should you go? Do you put your high school education in there as well? 

Usually, if you have a relevant university degree, it’s not advisable to waste precious space on your resume by listing your high school education.

Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, we can show you a general template of how to write down your education. You list the following features in this particular order:

The full listing for this educational entry, then, is:

how to list education on a resume

Of course, as we mentioned, many of these entries are optional . Listing all of them like ingredients for a recipe makes the resume look a bit cluttered. It’s going to be up to you to decide which ones are relevant for the job you are applying to.

For example, if our Jane Doe was applying for a librarian position at a local bookstore, her entry would look much shorter:

B.A. English Language and Culture, Minor in Teaching

University of Groningen 

2014 - 2017 

The only useful information for this position would be what, where, and when she studied. Notice how that would change if the position was at an international bookstore and one of the requirements was a “global mindset”:

Exchange Program in Oslo, Norway

Jane would now mention her exchange program since it’s relevant directly to her job position, which requires some sort of international experience.

As you can see, there’s plenty of freedom on how you decide to list your education. The main thing is to keep it short, relevant, and consistent throughout the resume.  

job search masterclass

13+ Examples of Listing Education on Your Resume

In this section, we’ll give you a clearer idea of how to list your education on your resume, through practical examples for all types of education. 

Feel free to skip through the examples that don’t apply to you.

How to List High School Education & GEDs on Your Resume

If you’re a student in high school, the chance is you probably have some volunteer work and extracurriculars under your belt. If these aspects are relevant to the job you are applying for, you can put them before the education section.

In all other cases, the education section would take the upper hand, and would look something like this:

Chapel Hill High School

Courses: AP Science, Mathematics, Advanced Chemistry

If you’re still in high school, you can list it in your resume by omitting the finishing year

2017 - Present

If you were homeschooled or haven’t graduated high school but still received a General Education Development certificate, you can mention that in your resume in the following way:

GED High School Diploma

Durham Literacy Center

Note here that you can also add relevant courses or the location of your high school or GED center if you see it fit and you have enough space.

How to List Undergraduate Education on Your Resume

We already gave you an example of how to list a Bachelor’s Degree in the previous section.  

Here’s how you would, for example, list an engineering degree in three different cases.

If you have already finished university and have gotten the degree, list it according to the following template:

B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

2002 - 2006

If you obtained a double major, you would write it down as:

B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering

Keep in mind, though, If you have two or more majors, you would want to list the major that is most relevant to the job you are applying to.

If you’re still attending college , though, you omit the finishing year, by adding “Present” instead:

2019 - Present

You can use other words & phrases instead of Present, as well, such as:

And if you did go to university but realized frozen pizzas and ramen noodles weren’t your thing and dropped out , you can still list your unfinished education in your resume:

34 credits completed towards B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

2018 - 2019

How to List Community College Education on Your Resume

You list community college education pretty much the same way as any other undergraduate degree. 

The rules we explained on how to mention that you’re still studying or dropped out also apply here.

Now, let’s look at some real-life examples of different types of degrees.

Graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from a community college:

AA. in Business Designation, Summa Cum Laude

Community College of Denver

2015 - 2016

In pursuit of an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in a community college:

AAS. in Medical Assisting 

2018 - Present

A certificate from a community college:

30 credits completed towards a Medical Assisting Certificate

How to List Graduate Level Education on Your Resume

Graduate-level education is, in general, more detailed, since you have participated in a more focused area of research and graduate-level work. 

You most probably have also put out a dissertation of your own, which you should include in your resume.

Often, there are scholarships, fellowships or outside funding involved, which you might want to include in addition to all the general information. 

Here are some real-life examples:

MBA in Business Administration

Magna Cum Laude

University of Maine

Avangrid Scholarship

Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

University of Rochester

Dissertation: Imaging, Computational Analysis, & Neural Representations in Young Children

MSc. in Information Systems

WU Vienna University of Economics & Business

Salutatorian, Summa Cum Laude

2015 - 2017

Dissertation: Leveraging User-Generated Content for Advertising Purposes Through Information Systems

There’s a lot more to creating a good resume than just the education section. Become an expert with our complete guide on how to write a resume .

Key Takeaways

Now, let’s wrap up everything we learned in this post:

In all, the best way to avoid making mistakes or forgetting something important when you list your education on your resume is to use a reliable resume builder .

Want to know how that looks like?

Novorésumé makes your life much easier by offering many free templates that you can fill out online. 

It’s free, it’s reliable, and it can really make your resume shine.

resume examples for students

And if there’s anything else you want to learn about the job hunt process, you can always check out our  career blog  for the latest news.

Suggested Reading:

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How to List Education on a Resume: Section Examples & Tips

How to List Education on a Resume: Section Examples & Tips

Natalie Severt

As seen in:

For most people, putting education on a resume is as easy as Tic Tac Toe. Name of University, Degree, Graduation Year - Done. But for others, figuring out how to put your education on a resume is harder than it looks.

For example, what should go first in a resume, education or experience? And how do you list education on a resume if you’re still in college?

This article will tell you how to put your education on a resume in every case:

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here .

sample resume templates

Sample resume made with our builder— See more resume examples here .

How to List Education on a Resume

Let's start with the basics.

What to Include in Your Resume Education Section

For the most part, the education section of your resume is the easiest to write.

Here's a few tips:

Pro Tip:  Putting a GPA on a resume  is optional. You should only add it if you graduated within the last three years and if it was above a 3.0. Otherwise, lose it. Most hiring managers won’t care what your GPA was.

Here is an example:

2009 MA in English Literature

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

2007 BA in English Literature

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Pretty simple, right?

Here are four extra tips to make it even easier:

For example, the candidate above graduate from Harvard.

As a literature major, she may feel like her degree isn’t directly related to the job for which she’s applying. That can happen when you’re an English major.

In that case, she may want to lead with the fact that she attended Harvard:

MA in English Literature

Graduated in 2009 with a 3.7 GPA

Just make sure that the way you format the entries in your education section remains consistent.

For most of you, putting your education on your resume is that straightforward. If you want to add extra information, you can.

The above information is useful for anyone who has some professional experience.

If you’re a recent graduate or haven’t finished a degree, read on - we’ve got you covered. Read on...

Our resume builder lets you choose from modern or basic resume templates.  Check all resume templates here.

education on a resume template

See more professional resume templates here . 

Where Should Education Go on a Resume?

You can put your education above your work history if you're a student or recent graduate and have little experience. If you have more than a year of work experience, your education should come after your employment history. Your most recent degree goes first. If you have a GPA of 3.5 or more, mention it. Don't foget about relevant course work, honors, and making dean's list .

In most cases, resumes open with the experience section as it's more relevant and important to recruiters. But there's nothing wrong with breaking this rule if your education is much more impressive than your experience.

If you are a seasoned professional , put your professional work history section before your education.

Hiring managers will find your work experience much more relevant at this point in your career.

Pro Tip: If you want to save time and find out how to write a great resume for your profession, take a look at our guides and examples of resumes here.

How to Add Your High School Education to a Resume

We have a whole guide on this here:  Should You Put High School Education on a Resume (Diploma or Not?)

If your highest level of education is high school, make an entry like this:

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Graduated in 2005

That’s all you have to do. No, I’m not joking.

When considering what else you should include on a student resume , stick to things that show off your skills and achievements.

That can range from honors, awards, and extracurricular activities , to any work you had during high school.

You’ll want to tailor your resume to the job description . So, pick activities that will illustrate the keyword skills listed there.

You might also want to include a coursework description, adding classes that are relevant to the work you will do in your new job.

But what if you didn’t graduate high school?

Here is an example of what to put:

Attended school from 2003 - 2005

Just write the name of your school and the years you attended.

If you are still in high school write it like this:

Expected to graduate in 2009

If you didn’t graduate high school but completed a GED later write it like this:

GED High School Equivalency Diploma

Cherryville Adult Learning Center, Ohio, 2009

Attended school from 2003-2005

Let’s say you graduated high school and then received a license or certificate you want to put on your resume as it’s directly related to the job for which you are applying.

Put your license or certificate first followed by your high school information.

Cosmetology License - 2009

Cherryville Beauty Academy, Cherryville, OH

Yes, You Can Put Unfinished Higher Education on Your Resume

Let’s say you went to college and then realized $30,000 worth of student debt per year wasn’t for you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t use what you did finish.

You can still put unfinished college education on your resume . All you have to do is write in the credits you did manage to get.

List your high school education after like this:

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2005 -2007 Completed 60 credits toward BA in Psychology

If you paid for it, it’s yours. If the coursework is relevant, you can put it on your resume.

Which brings us to higher education that is still in progress. In the middle of obtaining a degree?

Put it on your resume like this:

BA in English Literature in Progress

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

Here is a handy list of phrases you can use to describe degrees that are still in progress:

For more, see: How to List Expected Graduation Date on a Resume

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a  professional resume template here for free .

Create the perfect resume

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Here’s How to Put Your Higher Education on Your Resume

As mentioned above, you’ll put your highest degree first if you’ve graduated from university.

But what else would you want to include in an education section?

Let’s say you’ve got little to no work experience.

It’s not a bad idea to include some extra points in that case.

If you’ve graduated from an honors program, graduated with the highest honors ( magna cum laude or summa cum laude ), or were the valedictorian or salutatorian of your class, put Latin honors on your resume next to your degree in your education section.

Honors BS in Biology, Valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Graduated in 2012

Other honors and awards could include:

Note, you can make a separate Honors and Awards section if you feel that you have too many awards to list or want to draw special attention to them.

The same goes for academic publications for Ph.D. students.

You can either list your publications under your degree or add a separate section if there are several you’d like to mention on your non-academic resume.

Do keep in mind that the length of a student resume should be short and not exceed one page.

If you’re struggling to fill up space, adding sections (e.g., Hobbies and Interests) can be great . But don’t add so much extra information to your resume  that you’re resume spills over onto a second page.

Another nice thing to add to a student resume is a coursework description. Make sure that you choose courses that are relevant to the job for which you are applying.

If you have little to no work experience, a coursework description can show that you have the knowledge and skills required for the job through your education.

Also, if you have a degree in a different field, you can show that you took courses relevant to your professional field as well. For example, you’re applying for a job in marketing, but have a degree in psychology.

Did you take any business or communication classes? Those would be good to put in your coursework description.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The University of California, Berkeley, CA

Relevant Coursework: Business Communication, Social Psychology, English Language Studies, Grammar and Editing

If you feel like going into more detail here , that’s also okay. You could explain an overarching course of study that gave you a particular skill set that you want employers to notice.

You can also list extracurricular roles if you’ve graduated within the last three years and need to flesh out your resume.

Just avoid adding anything controversial (political or religious).

Here is a list of skills employers like to see on student resumes:

If you participated in any activity that would highlight these skills (or took part in a study abroad program ) you can add it to your education section.

Extracurricular Activities: Captain of the Lacrosse Team

Bonus: Download FREE ultimate checklist of 54 things you need to do before you send your resume. “Resume 101 Checklist.”

Want to include a different kind of education on your resume? This guide will help you out: How to List Continuing Education on a Resume

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here.  Here's what it may look like:

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

The thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules about how to add education to your resume:

In the end, you should think of your education section as an opportunity to position yourself just ahead of the rest.

Do you have any other questions about how to put your educational background on a resume? Let me know in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Resume Education Section

How to put education on a resume.

If you have a couple of years of relevant work experience , just list your highest level of schooling, including the field of study, the name of the school or college, and the graduation year . However, if you’re writing a resume with no work experience , it’s wise to include extra information that shows your key skills , such as:

Visit our blog to see resume education section examples—we have example resumes for every industry . If you’re ready to get an outstanding  resume , head over to the Zety resume builder : just pick a professional resume template , fill it with your information, and be ready to apply for your dream job in minutes.

Where to list education on a resume?

If you’re an experienced candidate, place your education below your work experience resume section . If you have little to no experience, change your resume order and put education at the top of the page, below the resume objective . In the absence of professional achievements , your education is probably your strongest asset. For more information, see our guide: What Should a Successful Resume Look Like?

How do I list education on a resume if I'm still in college?

The good news is that you can list unfinished college education on a resume —it’s easy, too. Just list your degree as you normally would, remembering to add your expected graduation date and your high school education (name and location of your high school, plus graduation year). Make sure to update your resume once you’ve graduated from college! Check out our college student resume guide for more information and to see a great resume example for students.

How do you list double major on a resume?

You can list your majors in the same entry in your education section, e.g. BSc in Economics & Mathematics , or BA, Double Major in Psychology and Sociology (followed by the name of your college and the graduation date). For more details and examples, see this article on listing minors, majors, and double majors on a resume .

Do you put high school education on a resume?

You only need to put your high school education on a resume if you never went to college or if you’re still in the process of getting your degree . If you have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s, however, there’s no need to mention high school.

Should you add GPA to your resume?

Mentioning your GPA on a resume is only a good idea if it was high enough to impress recruiters (so, 3.5 or higher on a 4-point scale) and if you have fewer than 5 years of professional work experience . If you’re an experienced candidate, however, your GPA is probably an unnecessary addition: recruiters will be much more interested in your recent professional achievements than your academic grades from several years ago.

Natalie Severt

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The Must-Haves When Writing Your Education On Your Resume [For 2023]

The education section on your resume is more important than you think. Here’s how to structure it, including advice for current students and recent grads.

2 years ago   •   11 min read

The education section is an easily overlooked part of any resume — which doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought. If you’re a current student or recent graduate, or if you’re applying to jobs that require a specific degree, you’ll know you need to put some thought into it, but the same is true even if you’ve been in the workforce for a while.

Here are some of our best tips for how to structure it, including where to put your resume education section and how to make the most impact without letting it take over more space than it needs.

Where to put your education on your resume

Where to put the education section of your resume mostly depends on how recently you graduated:

We'll go into more detail on the why's and how's of listing your education vs work experience first on your resume later in the article. First, here's a quick guide on how to write a resume education section.

How to format a resume education section

Here's an infographic of an education section on a resume

Resume education section template

Here are a couple of different templates you can use, depending on how much experience you have.

Education section for mid-level hires

Here's an example of a brief education section, suitable for experienced hires.

how to write resume education section

Use this template to copy this format:

EDUCATION Name of college or university, location Date of graduation Degree, major, and minor

Education section for students and graduates

This is a longer example you can use if you're a current student or recent graduate.

how to write resume education section

Here's the expanded template:

EDUCATION Name of college or university, location Date of graduation Degree, major, and minor Awards and GPA (if above 3.5) Relevant coursework

What to include in your resume education section

As a general rule, you should limit your education section to information that's relevant to the job you're applying for.

Must haves:

Awards and honors

Study abroad.

Extracurricular activities

Other certifications, educational projects, internships and student placements, unfinished degrees, the university or college and degree.

This one's a no-brainer. If nothing else, you must include the name of your degree and where you obtained it.

how to write resume education section

Major and minor

You should pretty much always list your major, unless you completed your degree in a completely unrelated field. Listing your minor is a good idea if it's in any way relevant to the job you're now applying for.

how to write resume education section

More information: How to put a double major on a resume and the minors you need to include on your resume

Any major awards or honors should go in your resume education section. These include cum laude or magna cum laude, dean's list , and fellowships.

An example education section that highlights key achievements during university

More information: How to list honors on your resume

Your GPA is very optional — only include it if you're a current student or recent graduate and it's above 3.5. In all other cases, leave it off.

how to write resume education section

If you’re a current student, it’s fine to list study abroad on your resume. You can list the experience under the host school, making sure to note that it was a study abroad program.

how to write resume education section

More information: Turn study abroad into a job with these resume tips

If you're an experienced hire, skip this step. If you have real work experience, including coursework will look strangely out of touch.

If you're a current student and don't have a lot of relevant work experience, relevant coursework can help demonstrate key skills and get you past Applicant Tracking Systems . You can list a handful of subjects on one line underneath your degree and major.

how to write resume education section

More information: What to put on your resume if you don't have a lot of experience

You can include student activities a subsection of your resume education section (if they only take up a line or two) or in a separate section (if you want to include key accomplishments).

how to write resume education section

More information: How to showcase extracurriculars on your resume

Other certifications and qualifications can go on your resume, but be critical about what you list. This could include certificates, licences, technical qualifications, and other types of continuing education — as long as they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for. You also don’t need to list every conference or seminar you’ve ever attended. Keep it limited to substantial qualifications that help you stand out.

how to write resume education section

More information: The right way to list certifications on a resume

Projects can also be listed in their own section if you choose to elaborate on your accomplishments — if you're a current student or recent graduate, this is a great way to highlight relevant skills. If you'd rather keep it brief, include a 'Projects' subheading in your education section and list them there instead.

how to write resume education section

More information: How to list projects on your resume

Internships — paid or unpaid — are generally a better fit for your work experience section, since they take place in a professional work environment. List these the same way as paid work experience, including the name of the employer, the dates of the internship, and a few key accomplishments in bullet points.

You can include student placements if they were a) significant, b) recent, and c) relevant. In other words, a six-month hospital placement belongs on your resume if you're a recent nursing graduate, but a two-week observation probably doesn't.

how to write resume education section

More information: How to write effective resume bullet points

It's fine to list an unfinished degree on your resume. Do list an unfinished degree if it's relevant to the job you're applying for, demonstrates key skills, or explains a long career gap. Don't list an unfinished degree if it's much older or  in a different industry than the one you now work in — only include it if it strengthens your candidacy.

It’s also okay to include your degree if you haven’t officially graduated yet — simply list it as “expected May 2024” (or whatever date applies).

Boston University (2020-2021) Boston, MA Bachelor of Arts in Communication — Completed 20 credit hours

More information: Listing an unfinished degree on your resume

I’d recommend uploading your resume to the tool below to find out if your education section is structured the right way. It’ll scan your education section and let you know if you’ve listed your degrees, majors & minors, GPA, honors, coursework and projects the right way. It’ll also let you know which of these belong on your resume and which ones to leave off entirely.

Do's and don'ts for structuring your education section

Here are some general do's and don'ts for formatting the education section of your resume:

Tips for writing a resume education section

Wondering how these rules apply to your specific circumstances? Here's some more targeted advice for different situations.

If you’re a recent graduate

As a recent graduate, always include your graduation date on your resume. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, a recent graduation date makes it obvious why.

Example: Listing study abroad in your resume's education section

Unlike more experienced hires , recent graduates can use your education section to highlight your achievements. This includes awards, student initiatives, study abroad programs, language proficiency , key leadership skills, and any major accomplishments.

If you’re a current student

If you’re still studying, your education section can be a lot bigger, since you’re unlikely to have a lot of relevant work experience. You should include any major accomplishments, including awards and involvement in extracurricular activities. If you know when you’ll be graduating, go ahead and list the expected date .

Students should prioritize their education section on their resumes, since it's the most recent

Any part-time work experience or internships can go in the work history section of your resume.

If you graduated a while ago

Try to keep your education section as short as possible.  The longer you’ve been in the workforce, the shorter it should be. If you graduated some time ago (e.g. 8+ years), it’s common practice to omit the date (and a good idea for those who want to avoid any potential age discrimination) .

Leave off your graduation date from your education section of your resume if its 15+ years old

If you transferred schools

If you started and finished your degree at different institutions — including transferring between four-year schools or from a community college — it's fine to just list the name of the school you graduated from. If you're a recent graduate and have achievements on your resume from your previous institution (like involvement in student organizations), you can consider listing both schools for clarification.

If you have multiple degrees

If you have multiple degrees, list them in reverse chronological order with the most recent first.

Use the reverse chronological ordering for your Education section on your resume

Key takeaways

Remember that your resume is about presenting you as a strong applicant for a position rather than about adding as much information as possible. Normal resume rules apply — if it strengthens your candidacy, leave it in. If it takes the spotlight off more impressive work experience, take it off.

Everything on your resume should have a single purpose: Demonstrating that you’re a good fit for the position you’re applying to. This means:

Should you lead with work experience or education on your resume?

The convention is for your education section to be after your work experience, but there are some situations where that doesn’t apply.

You can put your education section at the top of your resume if:

Recent or current students can lead with your education section

If you’re a current student and don’t have a lot of work experience , it’s fine to lead with your education section. It’s the most recent (and likely most relevant) experience you have. Leading with your education also prevents anyone who’s skimming over your resume from assuming that you’re simply inexperienced or unemployed, when the reality is that you’re in full-time education.

The same applies if you’re a recent graduate. If your education is still the most relevant or most impressive experience you have, list it first.

Career changers can start their resumes with an education section, if it's relevant

The last exception is career changers . If you’ve gone back to school as part of the career change process, you can list your education first. A new qualification is more relevant than your experience in a different industry. It also provides important context for your application, as a resume that solely focuses on your past experience in a different sector might otherwise be confusing to a hiring manager.

If you’re a career changer looking for new qualifications to include in your education section but aren’t sure what skills you need, use the tool below to find a list of skills and keywords required for the job you want.

Otherwise, your work experience should come before your education section

If the situations above don’t apply to you, and you don’t have another good reason to list your education first, stick to the standard convention as lead with your work experience. Employers primarily want to know about your work history and achievements, so unless your education is very recent, you’re better of focusing on your professional accomplishments.

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How to List Education on a Resume in 2022 (With Examples & Tips)

Not sure what degree to list? If you should include a GPA? It just so happens that there's a variety of ways to effectively list your eduction.

Ed Moss

The education section of a resume may not always be the star of the document but knowing how to properly list your education can be essential for advancing into the next phase of the hiring process.

In this guide, we will cover all the ins and outs of crafting an education section for your resume. 

We'll cover the following:

Tips for Listing Degrees (College, High-School, GED)

Listing incomplete education.

What Employers Look for in an Education Section

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job.


What to Include in an Education Section

As we've covered, different formats of resumes may require different information to be included within an education section.

In general, there is some basic information that should be included within the education section of a resume:

Here's what that looks like for and university grad:

Georgia Institute of Technology • Atlanta, GA B.S. in Computer Engineering, 2006 - 2010 GPA: 3.9/4.0

For high-school students, you can do something like the following:

Georgia Institute of Technology • Atlanta, GA High School Diploma, Graduated in 2010 GPA: 3.9/4.0

Remember, including a GPA  is optional. Only add it if it's required by the job listing or it's relatively high. If your GPA is low (under 3.5), it's better to just leave it out.

Listing Education with Limited Work Experience

In resumes that have limited or no work experience , as may be the case with college students or recent graduates, the education section may be a good opportunity to show off educational achievements instead.

Additional information that can be included in longer education sections can include:

As covered, in documents such as CVs the education section could be fairly lengthy.

However, the education section for most resumes will be one of the shortest sections.

This is mostly because standard resumes will be used for entry-level or mid-level positions, while longer-form resumes like the CV will only come into play for more prestigious or hard to obtain positions. 

It is much more important to show either a robust work history or detail relevant and transferable skills, using your education as support rather than the main point of interest. 

Here are some quick tips for deciding what educational information to include in a resume:

1) When including professional hobbies and extra curricular activities, it is important to keep relevance in mind

Incorrect: Do not include information about sports clubs or other clubs that cannot be connected back to your qualifications for a job.
Correct: If you held leadership positions in clubs or other extra-curricular activities, this can be useful information to include to highlight non-paid leadership or management experience.

Keep your descriptions simple and concise

Incorrect: Including long-winded and wordy paragraphs explaining the relevance of a certain piece of information. If a piece of information is relevant, it should be easily explained in one, simple sentence.
Correct: Use bullet points to separate bits of information to keep your resume easy to read or skim.

The readability of a resume can be the defining factor of whether or not a job recruiter or potential employer moves the candidate into the next phase of the hiring process.

As such, using clear and concise wording and formatting is essential for not just the education section, but for all sections. 

Here are a few tips for different formatting options depending on the level and type of education you have completed.

1) Adding High School and GED on Resume

2) Adding Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees on Resume

3) Adding Graduate School or Doctoral Programs on Resume

4) Adding Certifications on Resume

5) Listing Incomplete Education on Resume

Incomplete education can be tricky to include in a way that sounds positive — as such, if you have incomplete education, be wary of your wording and avoid words such as “incomplete” or “unfinished.” Instead try to do the following:

However, we've seen this be a common problem that many candidates have. Continue reading below to see how to effectively list education that is left incomplete. ‍

In some cases, a job applicant may have a partially-complete or incomplete educational credential they want to list on their resume.

Incomplete education can result from a variety of circumstances, including:

When listing incomplete education on a resume, it is important to stay highly mindful of how you are wording your limited educational credentials — as words such as “ unfinished ” or “ incomplete ” are not ideal to include within a resume. 

Here are some quick examples on how to properly list incomplete education in the education section of a resume:

For applicants who are in the process of completing a degree, it is important to note the expected timeframe of completion.

Incorrect: ‍ B.S. in Communications University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Not yet complete
Correct: B.S. in Communications University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Expected graduation May 2021

For applicants who began a degree, but ultimately did not complete the degree, it is key to be mindful of how you frame the education you did receive. 

Incorrect: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC

Why is this incorrect? Sure, this example indicates you, at some point, attended a university.

However, it provides no insight as to what relevant coursework or studies you may have completed.

Here's the correct way to describe your educational experience instead:

Correct: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC Completed 20 credits towards a BS in Communications

Alternatively: This could be a good opportunity to include a bulleted list of relevant coursework.

For applicants who did not complete high school, it is important to note if you either earned a GED or are in the process of earning a GED.

Incorrect: ‍ Watauga County High School Boone, NC Incomplete
Correct: General Educational Development Diploma Earned May 2021 — OR — Expected to earn May 2021

Generally speaking, the majority of jobs will require applicants to have earned at minimum a GED certification in order to qualify.

In some cases, an applicant may lack a degree but may be certified by a trade school.

For instance, a beautician would want to include any beauty and health related certifications or licenses earned under the education section. 

Take a look at this resume example of a college student below to see how to do this.

College Student

Where to Include Education on a Resume

When it comes to placing your educational credentials on a resume, there are many considerations to make.

Resumes can serve a variety of purposes and, as a general rule of thumb, should be tailored for specific jobs . 

It is also important to take into consideration the level of education you have completed, as this will impact how it should be presented as well.

For instance, a job applicant seeking a position in academia would have a much heavier emphasis on education and academic-related achievements — than someone seeking a job in a corporate environment.

Ultimately, not all resumes are the same, so the placement of the education section will differ depending on the type of resume being used and the intention behind its structuring. 

Choosing the right resume format

There are several different types of resume formats to choose from, but the main ones that are used are as follows:

1) Reverse-Chronological

‍ Emphasis is placed on the most relevant work experience, listing jobs from most recent to oldest. Education can be placed before or after the work experience section. However higher degrees that qualify a candidate for the position may be beneficial to mention sooner rather than later. 

2) Functional

‍ Functional resumes place a much heavier emphasis on skillsets and areas of expertise. This format of resume is typically used by job applicants lacking the relevant work experience or educational credentials. In this format, the education section may lead if the applicant has educational credentials but limited work experience but should follow after the skills section if education is limited. 

‍ Hybrid resumes combine the reverse-chronological work experience ordering with the emphasizing of skills. This can help to supplement resumes of applicants who may have some relevant work experience but still need to beef up their resumes with a skills section . The placement of the education section will depend on how applicable or high level the credentials are and should generally be kept brief. 

4) Curriculum Vitae (CV)

‍ CVs are a type of long-form and multi-page resume used most commonly by applicants seeking positions in either academic or scientific fields. In a CV, the education section will be a prominent component and should appear early in the document. This type of education section should include all credentials, published works, projects, awards, or other academic achievements — no details should be spared. 

The below example of a Physician Assistant's resume is listing education in the bottom-right corner as it's using a reverse-chronological resume format to shine on it's work history.

Data Analyst

Employers can gather a variety of information about a job candidate from an education section, including:

Understanding what employers are looking for in an education section included on a resume is key to understand how much or how little information to include.

What an employer is looking for will vary depending on the nature of the job being offered. 

For instance, an entry-level communications job at a corporation is likely to require a bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field.

Comparatively, a job in the welding industry may require the completion of a trade school program but not require a four-year degree. 

It is of the utmost importance when you are applying to various jobs that you read the job descriptions provided carefully, as this is where you will find the necessary information regarding what educational credentials are required of eligible candidates.

This will also help you to tailor your education section according to what credentials or qualifications you have that meet the requirements of the job. 

In general, what an employer is mostly looking for is simply that an education section exists on a resume.

The majority of employers will want candidates who have shown a commitment to their education, reflected through the inclusion of an education section.

For candidates lacking a completed education, it is still considered best practice to include some information regarding what level of education was reached before the point of incompletion, as well as the inclusion of any relevant coursework and knowledge gained from the time the candidate spent pursuing further education. 

Here is a quick rundown of a few key factors to consider for applicants who may be unsure how much information to provide in an education section for a specific employer or position:

Physician Assistant

Final Thoughts

Unless you are crafting a longer-form resume, such as a CV, the education section will generally be a fairly short summary of your academic credentials and achievements.

Education sections can be longer in some cases where job applicants may have hefty academic backgrounds but limited work experience.

Ultimately, the key to making a strong education section is to include only the most relevant information.

Always avoid deceptive wording, as employers can fairly easily run academic background checks if need be. 

Check out our resume templates to get your creativity flowing and get started on your ideal resume today. 

Browse more resume templates that fit your role

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

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How to List Education on Resume [25+ Examples & Expert Tips]

I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.” Patrick I love the variety of templates. Good job guys, keep up the good work! Dylan  My previous resume was really weak and I used to spend hours adjusting it in Word. Now, I can introduce any changes within minutes. Absolutely wonderful! George

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How to List Education on a Resume

Learn how to highlight your education to make your resume shine.

[Featured image] A woman adds an education section to her resume.

Education is an important section to include on your resume, as it helps potential employers build a picture of your qualifications for the job. Some roles may even require a particular degree, and your resume is the best place to show that you have it.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to format the education section of your resume (and where you should position it), as well as walk through some specific educational situations.

How to format your education section

There’s more than one way to format your education section, depending on the amount of work experience you have and what details may be most relevant to the job you’re applying for. For each school you have attended, consider including some combination of the following (always include the three bolded items):

School name

Degree obtained

Dates attended or graduation date

Field of study (major and minors)

GPA if it was above 3.5 

Honors, achievements, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, or study abroad programs

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you format this section of your resume:

List in reverse chronological order.

Rank your highest degrees first and continue in reverse chronological order. And remember, when ranking your educational achievements, it’s not necessary to list your high school graduation if you have completed a college degree. If you haven't completed college, list your high school education.

Make it relevant.

Employers want to see that your education meets the requirements listed in their job post. They will also look to see that you have the certifications they require for the job. Study the job listing for the role you’re applying for to help guide what to highlight. Make sure to include anything listed under the “requirements” or “education” sections of a job listing. 

If you’re applying for a nursing job, for example, you may be required to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since the field of study is key, you may choose to list your degree first and institution second, like this:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2019

Arizona State University | Tempe, AZ

If your degree isn’t particularly relevant to the job but you graduated from a prestigious university, consider listing the institution name first:

Dartmouth College | Hanover, NH

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, 2006-2010

Consider your work experience.

In general, the more work experience you have, the less detail you’ll need to include in this section. If you just graduated, for example, you may choose to include your GPA and highlight that you were the president of the National Honor Society (particularly if you’re applying for a job where leadership skills are important). If you’ve been in the workforce for several years, the school name, location, and degree will likely suffice. 

If you graduated more than five years ago, consider leaving off your graduation date to help avoid age discrimination.

Keep your formatting consistent.

While there are many different ways to format the contents of your education, consistency between each is key. Once you decide on a format, stick with it for your entire resume. 

Keep it concise.

In many cases, the education section should be one of the shortest on your resume. 

How to handle unique education situations

While many resumes will have straightforward education sections, some will have an incomplete or complex education history. Thankfully, there are easy ways to ensure that your resume showcases your positive qualities and qualifications.

Incomplete education

If your resume will include any incomplete education, it’s important to avoid words like “unfinished” or “incomplete” that could cast a negative shadow over your qualifications. 

If you’re in the process of completing your degree, include your expected graduation date. This lets employers know that you are still working on your degree while avoiding any confusion or misrepresentation of your qualifications. For example:

University of Michigan

BS in Computer Science candidate

Expected to graduate in 2023 

If you’re wondering how to list education on your resume when you don’t have a degree, there’s a format for that, too. Say you’ve completed part of a degree, but do not intend to finish. You can still use it on your resume. List the number of credit hours completed toward a degree in place of graduation date, and include any courses relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Completed 30 credit hours toward a BS in Computer Science

Relevant coursework: Web development, Object-oriented programming, Agile software projects

If you have not attended college but have completed trade school or a certification program, it’s good to include that information under the education section of your resume. Listing certifications as a graduate can be beneficial, too. This shows employers that you are continually learning and staying up to date with trends and technology.

Complex education

Whether you attended multiple schools to earn one degree or earned multiple degrees from multiple schools, listing your education is only as complex as its formatting.

Attending a few different colleges before landing at the one you graduated from does not mean you have to list every school. Employers are mainly interested in the school from which your degree was earned. It is, however, a good idea to list every school that you have received a degree from.

If you have earned multiple degrees at the same level, you should list all of them. In terms of order, it is okay to list either your most recent or most relevant first. 

Where to place your education section

Where you place the education section on your resume depends on a few different factors: your education history, your work history, and the job for which you are applying.

If you are a recent graduate with minimal work history, it’s appropriate to list your education first. Education will be your more impressive section, and you’ll want it to be the first seen when employers are viewing your application. 

If you are pursuing a job that requires a particular degree or credential, you should also list your education first. Employers will be interested in making sure you have those certifications before moving forward with your resume.

If you’ve been working for several years, your work history is likely more relevant than your education history, so it may make sense to list it first. This is particularly true if the field of study of our degree isn’t particularly relevant to the job or industry you’re targeting.

Resume vs. curriculum vitae

If you’re applying for a PhD or research program or a job in academia, you may be asked to submit a curriculum vitae, or CV, instead of a resume. If this is the case, your education section should come before your work experience. CVs are generally longer than resumes, so you can include your complete academic history, including all certifications and achievements.

Next steps 

A resume is an important document intended to organize and exemplify your education history, work experience, qualifications, and skills. Don’t forget to include your completed Coursera courses or certificates to your resume. For more resume writing tips, take Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters from the University of Maryland.

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What to Include in the Education Section of a Resume

Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.

how to write resume education section

Resume Education Section Template

Education section examples.

What's the best way to include your education on your resume? In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, your GPA if you're a student or a recent graduate, and any special awards and honors you earned.

You should tailor the education section of your resume to fit your circumstances, including whether or not you're still a student, and the nature of any academic achievements you've accrued. By including the right information, you can impress your employer and secure an interview.

What to Include in the Education Section of Your Resume

Here's an overview of what to include when you're adding education to your resume.

School and degree.  The essential information to include in the education section are your degree(s) and the schools you attended.

Major and minor.  You can also give more specific information, including your major and minor, as well as the year you graduated, although the latter is not required.

Your GPA.  Include your grade-point average (GPA) if you're currently a student or are 1-2 years out of school and your GPA is strong (about 3.0-3.5 or higher, depending on your major). You may also want to consider including your in-major GPA if it's higher than your overall GPA.

Honors and awards.  Include any honors or awards you have received in school. These can range from Latin honors (such as  cum laude  or  magna cum laude ) to dean’s list and other awards.

You can also include extracurricular clubs, charitable groups, or Greek organizations where you were active and/or held a leadership role.

Certifications, continuing education, and professional development.  Include any professional development courses and certifications. You can list any licenses you have unless you have a separate section of your resume where you include this information.

Where to Put the Education Section of Your Resume

Current students, recent college graduates, or career changers may want to put the education section towards the top of their resume. This is because students typically have limited work experience and want to highlight academic success.

If you have been out of school for at least a couple of years, you can move this section to the bottom of your resume. By this time, you have enough work experience to highlight that you don’t need to rely on your education.

Tips for the Education Section of Your Resume

Consider subsections.  If you have a lot of information to include in the education section of your resume, consider breaking this section into subsections. The main section might include your schools and degrees, and then you can have other sections such as “Awards and Honors,” “Certifications,” and “Professional Development.” If you held a leadership role in a school-affiliated organization (such as a club, sport, or Greek organization), you could list that below the "Awards and Honors" line.

Provide specifics (if useful).  If the sub-college of your university is well known and relevant (e.g., say you graduated from the hospitality school of your university and are applying for a job in hospitality), you can include that before you include your university name. For example, you could write, “School of Hospitality, XYZ College.”

When you can leave out your GPA.  If you're a student or recent graduate and your GPA wasn’t great, but you have other accolades, you can leave the GPA out and put something else, like “XYZ Award Recipient” unless the employer requires a minimum GPA. Once you've been out of school for few years, you can take your GPA out of your resume altogether.

You can leave out high school (after a while). Once you've been in college for a year or so (or once you're in some other sort of continuing education), you can leave your high school degree and GPA out of your resume. However, you should mention your high school diploma (or GED ) if it is your highest degree.

When you can leave out your graduation date. You aren't required to list your graduation date on your resume—but if your degree was earned over 10 - 15 years ago or you're an older job seeker, it's a good idea to omit the date you graduated.

Tell the truth. It's very easy for an employer to confirm whether or not the education information in your resume is true or not. If they have requested a copy, they can simply check your transcript . If you're not happy with your GPA, leave it out, but don’t make it up. Be honest.

If you're a college student or graduate and unsure about what details to include in your resume, check with your career services office for guidance.

You can use the following template to help structure the education section of your resume. Keep in mind that you can change and remove any of this information to fit your own circumstances and the job for which you're applying.


College Name Year of graduation Degree, major, and minor GPA

Awards and Honors Include any academic achievements here, including Latin honors, honors within your major, and more.

Certifications Include any professional or educational certifications you've received.

Professional Development Include any professional development experiences, including courses (both online and in person) and seminars. You might also mention here if you're a member of any relevant professional organizations. If you hold a position within the organization, mention that as well.

Resume Education Section Example #1

Huntown College May 2021 Bachelor of Arts in English, department honors 3.8 GPA

Resume Education Section Example #2

EDUCATION XYZ College Bachelor of Arts in Journalism

Awards and Honors Summa cum laude ABC Award for outstanding journalism major

Certifications Level 1 Strategic Communication Certification

Professional Development Conference Coordinator, XYZ Journalism Association of America

Virginia Tech. " Should I Include My GPA on My Resume? " Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.

CareerOneStop. " Education ." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.

CollegeGrad. " Should You Include Your GPA on Your Entry Level Resume? " Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.

CNBC. " This is the Age When You Should Remove Your Graduation Year From Your Resume ." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.

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How to List Education on Your Resume: Section Guide & Examples

Conrad Benz

The education section is an essential part of your resume. But figuring out what information to put in it and where to place it on the page can be confusing. Below, we break down how to make the best education section for your situation.

hero image highlighting the education section of a resume.

Your education section is an essential part of your resume, especially if you’re a student or recent graduate. But knowing what information to include to fully communicate your qualifications and where to put this section can be confusing.

In this article, we’ll walk through each step of listing education on your resume and provide some examples you can follow.

How to list education on your resume

Watch the video below where our career expert Eva shows you exactly how to list your education on your resume, with helpful tips and examples.

Here’s exactly how to list education on your resume in a way that highlights your most marketable qualifications:

Decide what to include in your education section

There are a few standard details you should always include in your resume education section. These are your:

Beyond this basic information, there are additional details you can include if you want to highlight some of your relevant academic achievements.

Here’s some optional information to consider listing in your education section:

Remember that you should only list information that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, only mention relevant coursework in your resume’s education section if the course topic is related to the job you’re applying to.

Put your education in the right part of your resume

Once you’ve decided what information to highlight in your education section, you need to decide where on your resume to put it.

Although your resume’s formatting might sound unimportant, where you place your education section in relation to the other parts of your resume helps emphasize (or de-emphasize) your educational background. This is why choosing the right resume format is crucial to send out the right message and make a good impression on a potential employer.

Are you a recent college graduate , are currently pursuing a degree, or lack relevant professional experience but have a degree related to the job you want? Then your education should be featured toward the top of your resume, above your resumes work experience section .

Here’s an example of a resume with the education section featured near the top:

An example of a resume with the education section at the top

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Have more than a couple of years of relevant work experience? List your education below your work experience section. For 99%+ of jobs, your education is less relevant to your ability to do the job than your hands-on work experience.

Here’s an example of a resume with the education section featured below the professional experience section:

An example of where to list the education section on a resume.

If you’re still confused about how and where to list your education, you can save time and effort by using a free resume builder . Resume builders are designed to do the formatting work for you, quickly providing you with a resume that suits your experience and education levels.

Format your education section properly

There are numerous ways to properly format your resume’s education section. The most important thing is that you list all necessary information clearly.

For example, you should always bold the most important information in your education section to help it stand out. For most people, this is the name of their school or their degree title .

Here are a couple examples of how to properly list education on your resume:

May 2017 New York University, New York, NY Bachelor of Arts, Communications

New York University, New York, NY B.A., Communications, May 2017

Additionally, if you want to list a double major on your resume , make sure the most relevant major comes first.

Here’s an example of how to format your education section with additional information:

May 2017 New York University, New York, NY Bachelor of Arts, Communications Honors: Cum laude (GPA: 3.8/4.0) Dean’s List for 4 semesters

Thesis : Teenagers, Texting, and Interpersonal Relationships Relevant Coursework : Language and Identity, Media and Values, Mass Media Law Active member of the Wagner Student Association and the NYU Arts and Culture Network

7 resume education section examples

Still not sure what your education section should look like on your resume? Here are seven different examples that demonstrate the different ways you can format your education section.

High school student

If you’re a high school student or don’t have a higher education degree, you should list your high school education on your resume.

Here’s an example of how to list your diploma if you’re:

Currently in school

An example of current high school education listed on your resume

College student/recent graduate

If you’re currently in or graduated from university, you should always include your degree on your resume. Even if it’s not relevant to the job you want, a college degree is often a requirement for professional-level positions.

An example of current college education listed on a resume

Graduate student (master’s)

Here’s an example of how to list a master’s degree on your resume:

An example of an MBA listed in a resume education section

Doctorate student (PhD)

If you’re applying for positions that require a PhD , you should make sure to include your dissertation in addition to when you earned your degree. Here’s an example of how to include a doctoral degree on your resume:

An example of a PhD listed in a resume education section

Working professional education section

If you’ve already entered the workforce and have a few years of experience, your education section should be short and to the point, like this:

An example of an education section from a working professional

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Conrad Benz

Written by Conrad Benz

Conrad Benz is a Digital Media Specialist & Resume Expert at Resume Genius, where he helps countless job-seekers craft standout resumes and launch their careers. His... more

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Put Your Education to Work on Your Resume

Your resume education section seems like it should be the easiest thing to write—just list your school, program of study, degree, and date, and you’re done. However, it’s not so straightforward for many job seekers. Unsure about the best way to present your education ? On resume templates, you’ll find a few ways to best display your credentials. We laid out some common scenarios, examples, and strategies below to help you determine the best way to look smart.

Where to place your resume education section

The best placement depends on what employers would value more: your experience or education. There’s no set rule for where to put it, but here are a few guidelines.

Place experience before education if:

Place experience after education if:

Experienced job seekers

If you’re focusing more on experience than education, list the basic facts regarding your degree, including institution name, location, degree, and major. Date is optional if it’s been a few years since you earned your degree. For example:

          Tufts University—Medford, MA | Bachelor of Science, Major in Economics

For specialized fields and certification programs, list information about the program that might interest employers, such as accreditation, intensity level, and number of program hours completed. For example:

          Technical Institute of America—New York, NY           Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Accredited Training           Completed 40-hour bootcamp | Passed CISSP exam on first try

Students and new grads

Students and new grads with little related work experience may use the education section as the centerpiece of their resumes, showcasing academic achievements, extracurricular activities, special projects, and courses. For example:

          University of Alabama—Tuscaloosa, AL           B.A. in Advertising, 12/2019

If you’re a student or recent graduate, list your GPA if it’s 3.0 or higher. Consider including a lower GPA if you’re in a challenging program. If your school doesn't use the standard 4.0 scale, avoid confusion by listing the scale (e.g. GPA: 4.1/4.5). As your career progresses, GPA becomes less important and can be removed.

If you’re a student or recent graduate and your GPA is on the low side, calculate your major GPA and include it if it’s higher than your overall GPA. If it’s still pretty low, omit it—avoid including information that could hurt your chances of securing an interview.

Honors and honor societies

Include academic honors to show you excelled in your program. For example:

          Baruch College—New York, NY           B.B.A. in Accounting, magna cum laude, GPA: 3.85, June 2020           Beta Alpha Psi, Dean’s List (all semesters)

Degree incomplete

If you started and abandoned a program but you still want to include it, list the number of credits completed or the type of study undertaken. For example:

          Michigan State University, College of Music           Completed 3/4 of requirements toward a Bachelor of Music in Music Education

Degree underway

If you’re still in school, it’s helpful for the hiring manager to see your expected degree date or progress. For example:

          MBA candidate, degree expected 6/2022           B.S. in Computer Science program, completed 106/120 credits

Multiple degrees

If you have more than one degree, lead with the most recent and go back in time. For example:

          Hofstra University—Hempstead, NY           M.A. in Journalism, 12/2019

          Adelphi University—Garden City, NY           B.A. in Communications, Journalism and Public Relations Concentrations, 6/2017

          Nassau Community College—Garden City, NY           A.A.S., Business-Marketing, 6/2015

You may also omit older degrees that aren’t as important as new ones.

High school information

Include your high school or GED information if you don’t have any college credits. If you have college credits, you can remove references to high school.

No degree, strong training

If your field values a degree that you don’t have, training may come to the rescue. List your related courses, seminars, conferences, and other training in the education section. For example:

Professional development:

No education

If you don’t have any education , training, certifications, or licenses, that’s okay—the education section isn’t relevant to you and you can skip it. Use the other resume sections to highlight your value proposition.

Get smart about your resume

Still not sure your resume gets a passing grade? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service . You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. Think of it as part of your continuing education.

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Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume

Article Image

Why featuring education on your resume is a must

What should my education section look like, general tips for your education section, perfecting the education section on your resume.

When it comes to writing your resume, featuring education is often essential to getting you hired.

It isn’t always clear how you can do that and what the best practices are.

Your level of experience has a massive effect on the way you showcase your education.

For example:

Entry-level candidates must draw attention to their educational background to appeal to recruiters. Seniors with decades of experience would often emphasize other sections.

Between this and that, there are differences you must know before making your resume.

Now, here’s something you should know:

If your education section isn’t making an impact, it’s won’t do you any favors. It must give answers that justify its’ existence on your resume.

That’s precisely why we created this comprehensive guide for you!

The expert advice we share here will help you no matter where you are in your career. We’ll teach you how to create an impactful education that gets you hired.

Let’s dive in.

If you’ve been frequenting the internet recently, you may have come across these ideas:

While some of that is enticing to hear, the reality of the situation tells us the opposite.

Unless you’re in a super creative field, the job market is still decades away from ditching formal schooling and college.

Education remains one of the top hiring factors in the majority of industries today.

The world is making a slow transition towards self-learning. Yet, most businesses are unwilling to take a risk and hire candidates with no educational background.

That’s even more true in traditional job positions such as finance and accounting, where formal education is more than necessary.

Now, here are five reasons why education will always be essential for your resume:

1- It serves as proof of competence

Many companies today are asking for an academic degree in their job offers.

That’ simply because…

Before hiring anyone, recruiters have to skim through a massive list of candidates. They need specific measures to choose from that list and make a well-informed hiring decision.

Being a brilliant student with a high GPA is a great way to stand out from the pack. It will help set you apart and quickly draw attention to your competence.

That’s even more true in entry-level positions where education is the main criteria for getting you hired.

2- It explains the gaps in your past

Believe it or not…

Many applicants lose job opportunities due to unexplained gaps in their resume — even if it was because of them going back to school!

You may wonder: But why wouldn’t the recruiter just ask me about the gap?

In a perfect world, they would.

But in their experience, the main explanation for an unemployment gap is unemployment. Headhunters will assume you’ve been unemployed and skip your resume — while the truth you were doing your best to advance in your career.

The point from all this is straightforward:

If you have any employment gaps due to school, including education is even more vital.

3- It increases job relevance

Showcasing your degree on your resume helps increase your relevance to the job position.

Although they won’t say it:

Recruiters will regard your educational background as an additional job experience.

They know you weren’t working in college. However, taking relevant classes allows you to learn the fundamentals of your work.

That’s another reason why businesses today prefer to hire candidates with a degree.

4- It highlights your hard work and longterm investment in your career

This point is super crucial, yet it’s often overlooked by lots of job seekers.

Recruiters prefer a hardworking candidate ready to be in for the long haul. They want someone who’ll go the extra mile to learn the ins and outs of the industry and help the business thrive.

What’s a better way to demonstrate that than showing how you’ve invested years of your life to attain a degree in your field?

Your educational degree proves your early commitment. It shows that you’re invested in your career and helps recruiters see why you’re the best.

5- It doesn’t hurt your chances anyways

Education is a crucial section that many headhunters expect to see in your resume, even if not asked for. Besides, it won’t take much space on the page and can be read within seconds.

So, you’ve got nothing to lose!

But here’s something to think about:

Imagine you were a recruiter with two candidates left on your desk. They have the same job experience, soft/technical skills, and are both ready to work with you.

One of them has a Bachelor’s degree, while the other one doesn’t.

It doesn’t take much thinking before you pick the applicant with an education.

You have everything to win.

The objective and impact of your education section will differ based on your circumstances. The detail required within your education section as a high-school student will be very different from when you’re a working professional with 10+ years of experience.

We’ve broken things down into four simple questions: what, where, how, and why.

Education Section As a High-School Student

The name of your school, the year you started at your school, and a brief description of classes and/or extra-curricular activities you’re involved in.

It’s no harm to include your GPA, too.

This depends on how much working experience you have. In general, your education section should be at the top of your resume, just under your resume header .

When describing classes you’ve taken, tailor them to the position you’re applying for.

If you’re applying for a role in retail and have taken classes in Business and Math, these would be particularly relevant. Languages classes would be relevant here, too. You can mention your individual grades in these classes.

When it comes to extracurricular activities you’re involved in, describe what you did, rather than what it was. For example, planted 300 trees as part of the environmental club. Simply listing that you’re a member of many clubs doesn’t mean very much.

Placing your education section near the top (beginning) of your resume is important as its one of the only formal records of work you have done.

This allows hiring managers to see your ability to perform real-world tasks and to pick up new skills.

Here’s an example Education Section for a high school student resume:

Enhancv Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume Resume education section

Education Section as a College Student/Recent Graduate

Your university, the title of your degree, your GPA, any relevant courses you have taken or are taking, and the period of your studies.

If you have a couple years of work experience in your field, you can place your education after that. Otherwise, you must feature your education prominently near the top of your resume.

Simply because your recent graduation should explain your lack of experience. That will stop recruiters from wondering why you lack expertise or where you’ve been in the past years.

Consider separating extra-curricular activities into a volunteering section as college extracurriculars tend to include more of a dedication and skill-set than high-school equivalents.

Much like in a first job resume, tailor any classes you’ve taken to the position you’re applying to.

Giving insight into any software packages or skills you’ve developed over the course of your degree as a current student is also helpful here.

As a recent graduate, you should include your final grade and any information on your thesis or dissertation.

Your education is your base. Showing the recruiter where you have developed your academic skills allows them to judge your theoretical framework and get a peek into the areas you know best.

Recruiters won’t expect you to know the ins-and-outs of practical experience in a certain field. They simply want to know you’re starting with an understanding and not from scratch.

Here’s a resume template for a college student/recent graduate education section:

Enhancv Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume Resume education section

Education Section as An Experienced Professional

The university you studied at and its’ location, the title of your degree, and your GPA (if it is high enough to meet the job criteria).

As an experienced professional, your education takes less prominence.

Hiring managers are more interested in your work history and skills than your education. Yet, they still want to know about your educational qualifications to make sure you’re fit for the job.

Thus, you must place this section at the end of your resume or after your previous experience.

In general, you won’t need to include the classes you’ve taken in your education section — unless you’ve recently obtained your degree in a newer area.

Suppose you’ve built your base and have been working in your field for a number of years. The recruiter doesn’t need to check your education to see if you have an ability in the area.

Your work history does all that for you.

Your education section completes the story of your career and gives insight into who you are more than it does prove your potential impact.

The section below is a great resume example of a job-winning education section:

Enhancv Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume Resume education section

Recruiters look to your education to reference your ability to pick up new skills, meet deadlines, and apply yourself to new challenges.

The importance of your education changes as you progress throughout your career. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to take your education off to cut down on resume length .

Applying general tips such as being specific in the information you give helps increase the impact your education section has too.

To create a resume education section as clear and impactful as the examples you’ve seen above, you can utilize Enhancv’s resume builder . Check out some examples here for inspiration.

Tip: Struggling with how to convey your informal education to employers? Check out our post!

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